Class Overview

Enjoy watching spectacular dances in old and new movies and explore what ideas are reflected about society.120 Years of Dancing in the Movies - Continuing Education at Seattle Central College

Discuss the effect of technological, social changes, and economy on modern society over the past century and how that is expressed and revealed through dance in film.  

Gain new perspectives through discussion and analysis of the stories, music, lyrics, costuming, casting, direction, and movement styles.

View, analyze, dissect and discuss the work of Danny Kaye, Donald O’Connor, Gene Kelly, Dick Van Dyke, Moira Shearer, Cyd Charisse, Gower Champion, Jerome Robbins, Susan Stroman, Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton) and more.

Learn the back stories, intention and meaning behind the dances and the dance makers.

Step behind the scenes to enjoy and demystify movie dances!

This course is part of our Senior Series, courses designed for older students offered during the daytime on diverse topics, though students of all ages are welcome.

Learning Outcomes

  • Gain an understanding of the history of dance in the movies
  • Learn about technology and the movie industry’s learning curve as it relates to the technicalities of making dance work on film
  • Understand the social implications of how and why certain dance styles have been accepted or rejected over the past 12 decades 
  • Gain insight into the economic impact of movie musicals in Hollywood and beyond, including the launching of new fashion businesses, influence on the travel industry, music industry, fitness industries, manufacturing, and more
  • Develop knowledge about the role of international relations on movie dances


Who Should Take this Class?

  • Anyone who enjoys music, dance, and film
  • People interested in the course’s selected dances, dancers, and choreographers
  • History buffs and anyone interested in the development of social norms and cultural change

Instructor, Location & Fee

  • Instructor: Claudia Lawrey
  • Where: Online: Real-time and interactive through videoconferencing
  • Fee: $89